Tim Booth: Leisure vehicle security and crime

Tim Booth of Tim Booth Consultancy Services Ltd was a police officer for 30 years and at the time of his retirement he was a senior crime reduction officer. 

We spoke to Tim about UK-wide caravan and motorhome thefts. It’s now known that in the UK there were around 800 reported stolen touring caravans last year which is unfortunately a slight increase on the previous year. 

He was able to report that many of the caravans fitted with alarms or tracking devices are left in storage with neither alarm, nor tracking device activated and on some occasions he’s even found no hitchlock or clamp fitted (as storage site operators have advised that these are ‘not allowed’) and this could affect an individual’s insurance policy. 

Thefts from storage sites are of particular concern with targeted crime. Owners are encouraged to regularly check on their vehicle to ensure it’s still there and that the battery is charged to ensure any alarm or tracker is active. The use of robust security devices (Sold Secure Gold Approval) is encouraged in these sites to ensure you’re as protected as possible.

Motorhomes remain a bit of an unknown with regards to exact volume of thefts but there’s most definitely been an increase on last year’s reporting – Tim suggests considering additional security such as steering wheel locks, On-Board Diagnostics locks or even a wheel clamp.

Key messages:

•             Ensure your security is correctly fitted and active.

•             Regularly check a vehicle left for long periods in storage sites – check roof lights, windows etc for signs of any weather damage.

•             Keep the battery charged at all times. 

•             Inform your insurance company of any changes to storage location immediately.

Tim Booth's work with the leisure industry has established him as a key partner. Tim now works with a specialist police unit as their Leisure Vehicles Officer and he’s a regular point of contact for both police and industry enquiries. He's one of a small number of specialist caravan inspectors, as listed by the Thatcham guide.